The trees aren’t the only ones confused this morning…


Mornin’ all.

Welp, things are a’changin’ in the House of Bethie. The man did so well at his job they up and promoted him. I warned him that would happen if he was competent, but did he listen? Noooo.

Good thing he didn’t, because now I get to be really proud of him and make him blush. He’s a wizened old geezer, so the opportunities to make him blush are few and far between.

The new position means a new schedule, perhaps the one drawback in our plan to take over the world. We had really gotten used to the wee early morning routine. Now we have a slightly less-early routine that will then stretch later in the day and include a random night shift once a week. I wouldn’t be surprised if some evening musings popped in here once in awhile, though we probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee and eating day-old pastries together while we chatted at night. Too much caffeine. We need a different plan, you and I.

I’m not to sure what people do in the evening, since I’m usually sleeping at that time. Should we have a…cocktail? Would cocktails be an evening thing? I always thought they were before dinner, though. Hm. Nightcap?

Definitely NOT a nightcap. There’s an expectation after a nightcap, isn’t there? I’m not down for that.

I mean, no offense man, I like you. But I don’t like you like you. We don’t have that kind of relationship, and I think you can only drink nightcaps together if you do.

I suppose we could tip back a highball. It probably wouldn’t be effective, though, because I don’t have raw meat to gnaw on or hot asses we could slap, and I definitely don’t know any bawdy jokes that we can make about our secretaries while we lounge together in a man cave.

I will *not* drink beers with you. I will not drink beers with ANYONE. Blech. I honestly to my core have no idea how in the hell that drink has endured so long. I get that folks didn’t have better options available in the ancient times, and beer was a slightly better choice than getting dysentery from the water. But now? Now there is no excuse, folks. We have so many options. There are beverages out there that actually taste GOOD.

No beer. Beer bad. Bad, beer. Bad.

Maybe we shouldn’t drink. What do people who aren’t big drinkers drink in the evening? I usually have seltzer water and watch a bit of tv before heading upstairs to read for an hour or so.

Shit. I really AM one cardigan away from being Old Lady Bethie, aren’t I? One cardigan away from that, and one little glitter-crusted raccoon hat away from being Crazy Old Lady Bethie. Never forget how small that line is or how easy it is to cross, kiddies.

I think out of all the choices, cocktails sound the best. We can chat over cocktails and eat…uh…fondue? Is that how most grown ups spend their evenings, or is fondue actually a myth, like I’ve secretly believed all my life?

We are creatures of habit around here and this change is going to take some real getting used to.

I think it actually helps that the season has finally decided to change, too. It’s a chilly morning, and maybe that’ll help us transition better. An “out with the old, in with the new” kinda deal.

It’s been an odd end of summer here. All of September so far has been exceedingly warm. In fact, when we went to shop for some fancier work duds, the wind was carrying in the cooler air of autumn Nature had been waiting to embrace. Because it was so breezy, the leaves were falling off the trees, as they will. The weird thing, though, was that they were still green. The confusion of the trees was palpable. I think the conversation around the forest probably went something like this:

“Yo, Birch?”


“I think we’re supposed to be dropping leaves.”

“Nah. We can’t yet. It’s not cold. Hell, mine are still green.”

“I’m lookin’ on the calendar, and I really think we’ve got to drop them. See for yourself.”

“*sound of pages madly flipping* Shit. You’re right. But don’t we have to dye them first?”

“I don’t know. I’m so confused! Let’s get another opinion.”

“Good idea. Who should we ask?”

“The Larch.”


The larch must have agreed, because we drove through showers of still-green leaves the whole trip. I tell you what, if this keeps up, the leaf peepers we get up from Connecticut and New Jersey will be highly disappointed. I don’t think they came to watch the shedding tears of confused trees.

It’s cold right now, though, so it may not be an issue. The cold is what signals the trees to shun their leaves and retain the life giving sap, thus eliminating the leaves’ ability to photosynthesize.

Science Monday.

Hopefully it’s not too little too late. We’ve got the annual Pickle Fest coming up at the end of the week, and it would be glorious to have another bright sunshiny day that thrums with the vibrancy of electric colored leaves, the mood highlighted by the briny scent of pickles wafting in the crisp, cool air. *pleasant sigh*

So I was picking the youngest cub up from school the other day. The school pick-up procedure goes like this:

You drive up and park and wait for your kid.

It’s not a complicated process, even though we got a three page pamphlet home on the first day of school explaining it. No joke. It’s just your basic after school pick-up. Simple, easy, the way kids have been picked up for years.

However, there is a growing trend at our little school, and I’m wondering if anyone else has this problem. Several parents who get out of their cars to wait for the younger students bring their dogs. They wait on the lawn starting about ten to fifteen minutes before the end of school, and have their dogs right where the kiddies are going to come running out.

On Friday, someone brought a big and hyper dog. I believe it had some husky in it, because the markings looked very huskyesque, but it was taller than I picture huskies. Admittedly, my knowledge of dog breeds is fairly basic, so that’s the best description you’re going to get. Sorry, dog lovers.

This dog, it was crazy untrained. It was on a leash, but it was like…it was like those fireworks you pin to a tree branch or a freshly painted backyard bridge (DAD. Jeez.) that are on a string and whiz-whiz-whiz-zip-twirl when you light them.

Of course he was a barker, too. He was barking so loud that the teacher in the classroom next to the walkway shut all of the class windows. You’d think the owner of the dog would get the message.

…and if you thought that, you’d be silly. Why would she suddenly have consideration for her fellow man when she hadn’t shown a lick of it before that point? She let the dog keep barking. She let the dog start barking at other dogs. She stood there ignoring the fact that her arm was one wrong move away from being torn out of its socket because talking on her cell phone was far more important than controlling her spastic dog at a school.

The dog got the four other dogs in the pick-up area all riled. Only one of the dogs had a muzzle. The others started to hop and yip and pull and generally act how dogs will act in a chaotic situation.

And then the kids came out in a flood, as kids do at the end of the day. A rush of small children running past already amped up animals.

The husky-like dog lunged at kids. He didn’t get any of them, but that was only because the little children were smarter than the dog owner and changed course to veer away from the dog in time. Once again, the dog -the hyper, barking, jumping jack- was in the main path the kids walk down when they leave the school.

Now, I’m not saying that all of the dog owners that bring their dogs to the school are irresponsible. There is one that always, ALWAYS has a muzzle on the dog, even though I have never once seen that dog be anything but a nice, mellow animal. It sits there and looks happily around with its tongue lolling out the side of the muzzle and thumps its tail when its kids come out of the school. That is a responsible dog owner.

There’s another one that brings the dogs for a run around the large field every afternoon, then puts them securely in the car before the kids come out. Now, I know for a fact she doesn’t clean up their dog poop, but at least the dogs aren’t a danger to the kids.

That’s what we’re talking about here. A legitimate, real danger to the kids that the irresponsible dog owners create. The majority of the owners that bring their dogs to school do not seem to realize that putting their family pet in a high activity situation with a bunch of strange, hyper children is potentially very dangerous, especially when there are OTHER overly stimulated dogs there, too.

Why don’t these dog owners understand that?

Right now, I know that some of you have an argument for me. Right now, there are some dog lovers reading this thinking I’m attacking dogs. I’m not. I like dogs well enough. The dogs aren’t the ones who drove to the school, are they? I’m not even saying anything bad about the ill-trained maybe-husky. It’s just a dog being a dog. It’s an animal, and it was behaving as such. Nothing more, nothing less…nothing to get angry at the dog about.

It’s the owners here. The owners are the problem.

And before I get an email about the responsible owners I mentioned, let me just point out one thing that is impossible to argue:

This is a SCHOOL we are talking about.

This is a school, where kids of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and temperaments go to learn. Not to hear dogs barking. Not to have to veer this way or that to safety. Not to have to step in dog shit when they’re playing in the field (that’s riling me up, now that I’m thinking about it).

Why are people trying to make the school a dog park?

Thus concludes a Musing for Monday, September 21, 2015. I’m going to probably take this week and next off from Musing to wrap up a book and get into the swing of the new schedule. I’ll come back with either coffee and pastries one morning, or cocktails and the ever elusive fondue one evening, and we’ll have chat and laughs. Enjoy the beginning of autumn, even if you have to peep green leaves!